Understanding the Qur’anic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age By Isra Yazicioglu (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013. 176 pages.)

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Leyla Ozgur Alhassen



In the introduction to her Understanding the Qur’anic Miracle Stories in the
Modern Age, Isra Yazicioglu writes about the dilemma of how readers are to
understand such stories. She poses the question that if both the Qur’an and
scholars of Islamic thought argue that Muhammad’s message is his miracle
(p. 5) and that natural phenomena contain miracles, then why is there a need
for such narrations? And since they are only narrations of miracles, for readers
do not actually witness these miracles, do they “count as evidence of
God’s power?” (p. 8). Stemming from these and other related questions,
much of the book revolves around issues of causation and sources of knowledge.
This book will appeal to advanced university students and academics
interested in Qur’anic studies and especially in Islamic philosophy.
Part I, “Medieval Muslim Debate,” includes a chapter on al-Ghazali and
Ibn Rushd. Each chapter includes a welcome biographical section on the
scholar under discussion. Starting with al-Ghazali, we see the idea that God
can and has sent miracles to verify His messengers and that this is fundamental
in Islam (p. 18). These miracles enable people to discern between
prophets and imposters (p. 19) and by creating miracles God “nonverbally ...

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